By Dato’ Sedia Raja Abdullah Hj. Dahan
The Undang of Rembau, Negeri Sembilan.
Gadong is one of the eight Warith Kampongs of Rembau (Kampong Delapan). There are two Ruangs in this Kampong, namely Gadong Baroh and Gadong Darat.
The trouble between Gadong Baroh and Gadong Darat, started only after Haji Sulong had been elected Undang in 1905.He apparently has had a deep-seated dislike owards the people of Gadong Baroh ever since the time ehen he became Perba in 1897, and deliberately wanted for the complete downfall of these people.
The reason for this is not far to seek, nor difficult to understand. Being a Gadong Darat man himself, it had been his selfish desire that his own Ruang should monopolise all the Warith rights, and by excluding Gadong Baroh from the group of Warith families, his Ruang would get a bigger share in the money annually allotted by Government to the Kampong Delapan of Rembau. .
Besides, the exclusion would also narrow the circle of selection of candidates for Warith appointments within the limit of his own Ruang. Hence his ceaseless attempts to exclude Gadong Baroh from the Warith tribes. To prove this I may merely point out that the people of Gadong Baroh were receiving their share of the Kampong Delapan money even for a few years after Haji Sulong had become Undang , which conclusively proved that Gadong Baroh is just as much as a Warith family as Gadong Darat.
But since Haji Sulong was always planning for the destruction of these people’s rights, he had not to wait long to carry out his scheme, for soon after his election , an incident occurred on the occasion of a Menyalang ceremony held in Gadong Baroh. Instead of the prescribed five , six shots o cannon were fired during the day, and Haji Sulong took the opportunity of regarding this act as a sufficiently grave offence to enable him to deprive the Gadong Baroh people of their right in a share of the Kampong Delapan money, and of treating Gadong Baroh as a Biduanda Dagang tribe ineligible for any of the Warith rights.
What actually did happen was that at a ceremony referred to above, though six shots were fired during the day, the first one was merely a shot which was fired as a signal to “panggil orang”. The other five shots were fired long after the first one. The people had no intention whatever to turn the festival into one which mould justify the firing of six cannon shots. Even if there had been an offence, which under the circumstances , seems rather doubtful, Hji Sulong should not have inflicted a punishment so severe such as degrading the people from their natural status and depriving them of their rights as members of the Warith families.
According to the Adat, Haji Sulong could never on this account have excluded Gadong Baroh from the Warith families because there had been no hearing of the case by himin his Balai and no ceremonies had been observed to mark Gadong Baroh’s exit. What had happened was that Haji Sulong merely let Gadong Baroh to slip away from the Warith tribes unnoticed , which he must have thought would be the best way of dealing with the matter instead of making it a public matter.